Can't make it to the museum but want to take a trip back in time?

Most families in the 1800's could not afford to buy toys, so materials for toys and games had to be inexpensive and easy to make. 


Active Games

Welcome to "Retro Recess" a look back at the active games children played during school recess in the 19th and 20th centuries.  Download the pdf files to learn more about the origins of these games and perhaps bring back memories of playing them yourself !

Clapping games Musical rhythm, rhyme and co-ordination

Group games played with participants in a circle "Duck, Duck, Goose", Drop the Handkerchief", "Musical Chairs"

Games for larger groups - part 1 "What Time is it Mr. Wolf", "Dead Man Arise", "Red Light, Green Light", "Fox and Chickens" 

Games for larger groups - part 2 "British Bulldog" 

Games for 1 or 2 people using simple items "Game of Graces", "Hoop Rolling", "Cat's Cradle"

Classic games: Hopscotch   Jump Rope   Tug of War   



Crafty Saturdays

Visit our YouTube channel to see our collection of crafty videos or click on the individual craft links below.

July 4 - Paper dolls have been a popular craft for generations. Learn how to make paper dolls. The template is in the video description or you can find it here.

July 11 - Pressed flowers - Pressed flowers can be used for many crafts.

July 18 - Thaumatropes were a popular Victorian craft. Learn more about thaumatropes and how to make them.

July 25 - Paper Weaving is a fun and historic craft. Learn how to do paper weaving

August 1 - Folded picture frames - Use simple folding techniques to make a decorative picture frame.

August 8 - Sewing cards - Used to help students develop motor skills, sewing cards were a common craft in early schools. The link to the template can be found here or in the description of the video. 

August 15 - Watercolouring -  Learn about watercolouring and using crayons for watercolouring resistance.

August 22 - Handkerchief Dolls - Make your own handkerchief doll in a few simple steps using everyday items found around the house.

August 29 - Paper Chains - A very old craft, paper cutting was often taught in schools. The link to the template is in the description of the video and can also be found here

October 10 - Dried Leaf Lantern - Pressed flowers and leaves have long been important keepsakes to remember special moments. They were often put on display or kept in the pages of a book. This pressed leaf lantern craft turns these keepsakes into a fall decoration. 

December 19 - Salt Dough Ornaments - Using a simple recipe with only three ingredients, kids can enjoy a craft and create festive salt dough ornament decorations.

Family Day - Post Cards - Stay in touch with a family and friends. Make you own post cards and mail them.



Download the following activity pages (pdf format) so you can do some nineteenth century learning at home! 

Make a Whirligig (2 variations)  Whirligigs instructions

Paper Weaving Craft  paper weaving instructions


Curriculum Linked Resources:

Science:   grade 1 and grade 4 (includes shadow puppets)   Open the Science projects

Visual Arts:   grades K-8  (paper cutting)   Open the Visual Arts projects

Literacy:   grades K-8   (word games)   Open the Literacy games

Spelling:   grades 1-5  Spelling bees were often used to teach literacy in schools. Learn how to run your own Spelling Bee complete with word suggestions!